Battle Academy is the perfect starter kit for people just getting into the Trading Card Game after being on the shelves for nearly 25 years. It allows new players from all walks of life to enjoy the deep and colourful world of Pokémon whilst making it easy understand and fun to play.
However, we were presented with a twofold challenge: how do we broaden its appeal to new audiences beyond engaged TCG players and how do we convince potential customers it’s easy to play?
Our creative strategy for this campaign was to leverage Pokémon’s 25-year legacy by capitalising on the global recognition of key Pokémon characters whilst positioning Pokémon TCG as a lifestyle product that can sit on the shelves alongside Monopoly and Cluedo, as a household staple that is equally easy to pick up and enjoy.
We broke this out across two key phases:
1) Create awareness of the Battle Academy box set and position TCG as a fun social gaming experience to be enjoyed by everyone
2) Reduce barriers to entry by educating new or potential players on the simplicity (and enjoyment) of learning how to play TCG
We launched our campaign with a highly polished live action TVC showcasing the simplicity of the game and emphasizing it as “fun for all the family”. Utilising the family dynamic was key here as it allowed us to position the product as something that both younger and older players could enjoy, but ultimately something they could enjoy together.
This also gave us the opportunity to leverage Pokémon’s long-standing heritage... and how better to do that than by unleashing Charizard and Pikachu directly into family game night, and have them battle it out while the family play off against each other too? This helped to not only give the creative a unique and recognisable Pokémon identity, but helped to emphasise the immersive experience of getting stuck into a TCG battle.
Looking to leverage the initial buzz and awareness generated by the TVC, we then developed a miniseries of accompanying content, known as “Battle Stories”, designed to educate the viewers on a slightly deeper level with a focus on demystifying the world of TCG and reducing barriers to entry.
The concept was simple: send Battle Academy out to a handful of families and document their week of playing with it. This gave a real-time (and real-world) story that viewers could follow from novices to budding pro’s, coupled with wholesome, unscripted reactions and genuine, positive testimonies about the product.
Each family experienced the highs of monumental wins and lows of gruelling defeat, which we transformed into a collection of digital and social ads, pre-rolls, and longform content, each with a shared call to action to be a part of the experience by picking up Battle Academy. If you won’t take our word for it, take theirs’!
We’re super proud of this one... It was a truly natural and relatable campaign that took viewers and potential players on a wholesome journey packed with Pokémon fun and attitude.
So... What’s the first rule of Battle Academy? Tell everyone about Battle Academy.